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Enjoyed all 4 stories, a lot of comical interaction between all characters. My only complaint would be the phrase used in all books "he/she ran their tongue along their teeth". Not an attractive description but that's really the only thing negative about the entire series.
for well written stories with unique and interesting characters who actually both make sense and evolve. Thank you for your creative premise for this series and your thoughtful back stories. I read a lot. Before finding this series, I had begun at least six regency romances that I gave up on after 20% or less because they were trite, unimaginative, or just poorly written. These books are delightful! Please continue to write. I will happily read anything you have published.
A charming tale about a father’s last wish, treachery, love, and redemption. This author is new to me and I am delighted to have found her. I fell in love with her unique characters: Their witty dialogue kept me smiling throughout the book. Although there are some poignant and bittersweet moments, it’s a joyous book of discovery and romance. A winner!
This was such a supremely delightful, spirit-boosting, sharply written charmer. Until about the halfway point, this was an A+ (++++...!) read for me. Alas, my admittedly limited patience and I then encountered an all too familiar problem: the plot and pacing started to lag, and some of the dialogue, characterization and themes started to lose their power to enchant as they became more and more "yes, yes, we get it already!" repetitive.
There's a wealth of wit and humor here---so much so, in fact, that even a wit and humor lover like I am found myself wishing that a LITTLE of the snark was cut in favor of a dash more emotional substance, but that's a minor nitpick. A slightly less minor nitpick is that the hero's characterization felt somewhat inconsistent. Alex is depicted initially as a very serious, reclusive loner who's obsessed with honor and duty----except, no, wait, he's actually a smooth, slickly charming and super-snarky rogue with tons of experience with, er, the wrong sort of women. I started off adoring him, and while he remained moderately likable throughout, I ended up more confused by him than enamored. Our heroine's characterization struck me as sharper and more consistent. On paper, Sophie sounds like just the sort of Mary Sue who makes my eyes roll right out of my poor head: spunky and smart and independent and charitable and fantastic at a zillion little things that most women of her time had no exposure to and all-around awesome. So why did I find myself loving her? Because the book wisely pokes some gentle, self-aware fun at Sophie's unique experiences and skills, which succeeds in making her more amusing than irritating. And, fortunately, Sophie is just impatient and restless enough to seem realistically flawed.
The plot includes some convoluted, rather randomly resolved spying and intrigue. The good news is that this provides a fun diversion for those of us who sometimes want our romances to be about more than just the romance. The not as good news? This element of the book is something of a mess, haphazardly plotted and weirdly paced. Still, I'm a sucker for thrillers and mysteries---(even the sloppily executed ones!)---so this facet of the book probably bugged me less than many of my fellow readers.
I know this review has contained its share of criticisms, but I can't emphasize enough just how much I enjoyed this writer's style and the book's overall tone. I've already bought nearly everything else she's written, and am confident that my minor complaints about plot, pacing and even characterization will continue to be overshadowed by the fabulously sharp dialogue, clever prose and smile-eliciting, mood-lifting charm.
Objective quality: 3.75/5 Subjective enjoyment: 4.5/5 Steam level: About 1.5 or 2 (Only one actual sex scene)
This author has a style that I really like, which is very pronounced after reading a substandard style. She has a real ability to give life to facial expressions and actions. Her primary characters are actually with each other through most of the story so that they can build a relationship. Alex and Sophie were well matched, though the spy thing was a bit silly. There were a few laugh out loud moments for me and I enjoyed the verbal give and take. The secondary characters are all interesting, particularly Whit and Mirabelle. While I do find the "I can't marry him because he can't love me back" tiresome, the reader isn't bashed in the head about it constantly. Was disappointed in the drab ending however. I will continue with the series.
STORY BRIEF: Sophie and her father have been traveling the world for 12 years. Sophie returns to England for a short stay. She has certain skills like knife throwing and lock picking. A government agent tells her that her family's estate is in financial trouble, and he will pay her a large sum of money if she will spy on a specific group of men in London. She agrees. Alex is single and plans not to marry until age 40. A government agent asks him to spy on some people in London. Alex's family has always been loyal to the king and would do this kind of thing when asked. Alex agrees. Sophie's and Alex's paths cross during their spying activities.
REVIEWER'S OPINION: The plot and characters were ok and similar to those in so many romance novels, but the author didn't bring them to light for me. I wasn't emotionally pulled in. I felt like I was going through the motions of reading a book. I wasn't charmed. I wanted it to be over.
I noticed other reviewers mentioned witty conversation and verbal sparring. I didn't find it that entertaining. My view of the sparring was Alex asking questions and Sophie either not answering or being evasive and giving him half answers. Because she was raised outside of England, she had an independent mind and liked to talk about topics that interested men as opposed to women. There was one scene in which Sophie bested an obnoxious man in a verbal debate. All of this might sound good, but the actual conversations didn't do anything for me.
I did enjoy the interaction and fighting between Mirabelle and Whit, friends of Sophie and Alex. Their story is told in the sequel Tempting Fate, which I have not read.
DATA: Story length: 301 pages. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: one, 7 pages long. Setting: 1796 and 1811 England. Copyright: 2008. Genre: regency romance.
I hated Sophie's thinking and actions. She is forced to marry anyone before she turns 25, in order to legally keep her family's estate. She is in love with Alex but won't marry him because she thinks he won't love her back. Instead, she plans to find and marry someone else who does not love her. Later, when Alex tells her he loves her, she runs away from him. Her thinking is that she doesn't want to be happy because karma will make her pay for it by causing something bad to happen. She must leave him because she is too happy. These weak conflict devices annoyed me.
I also did not like that the events surrounding the capture and punishment of the bad guys was told rather than shown. I also never learned and I wanted to know what was going on with Heransly all this time. I was frustrated that the epilogue was stopped prematurely. It stopped in the middle of a conversation. I thought some pages must be missing from my book.